The IRIS project is developed by the Lighthouse cities of Utrecht (The Netherlands, coordinator), Nice (France), and Gothenburg (Sweden), who will act as a good example of replication for Vaasa (Finland), Alexandroupolis (Greece), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Spain) and Focsani (Romania) the four Follower cities and an additional high number of linked EU cities through a well prepared dissemination and exploitation planning of IRIS actions foreseen.
Despite the common challenges, the cities of Utrecht, Nice and Gothenburg also face city and district specific challenges due to divergent geography, geology, demography, climate, and socio-economic and cultural characteristics. These characteristics make them embark on their urban energy transition from different perspectives.
The three cities Utrecht, Gothenburg and Nice have each solid experience and high ambition to use fully the ability of their existing urban platforms and ICT systems to foster collaboration for better services, innovative business models and implementation of new ways to reach and engage citizens in co-creation and co-production of sustainable, inclusive smart city solutions. In the IRIS project the cities will apply their ICT urban platforms to the use-case of integration of smart homes and buildings, smart grids, energy storage, electric vehicles, and smart charging infrastructures.
From the beginning of the project, the Lighthouse cities work closely with the Follower cities in the project. The four Follower cities were selected for their different geographical location, cultures, climates and standards of living, as well as their different levels of technical competence in the integration of energy, mobility and ICT, representing together a wide range of EU cities. In IRIS project, Follower cities are fully involved in the project from the beginning, not only for fast replication of solutions that are demonstrated in the Lighthouse cities, but also to contribute to the project's understanding of barriers and drivers regarding the project's objectives.